May 18, 2022

Image credit: CalMatters

The origins of Covid-19 may never be understood, according to US security officials

Although US intelligence agencies fear they may never be able to pinpoint Covid-19’s origins, they have decided that it was not developed as a biological weapon.

The Office of the US Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) updated its assessment of how the virus spread, saying that animal-to-human transmission and a lab breach were both feasible ideas. However, there was insufficient data to draw a firm judgement.

China has expressed its displeasure with the news. The conclusions were revealed in a declassified study, which is an update on President Joe Biden’s administration’s 90-day evaluation released in August.

According to the report, the intelligence community is split on the virus’s most likely source. It was determined by four agencies to have originated with an infected animal or a similar virus with poor confidence. However, one organisation stated that it had moderate confidence that the first human infection was most likely the consequence of a laboratory error, most likely involving Wuhan Institute of Virology experiments or animal handling.

According to the article, Chinese officials were unaware of the virus’s existence before the virus’s first outbreak in the city of Wuhan in late 2019. China, however, is continuing to obstruct the worldwide inquiry and refuse to share information, according to the report.

Early Covid-19 cases in China were related to a seafood market in Wuhan, prompting experts to speculate that the virus was first transmitted to humans by animals.

However, earlier this year, US media sources stated that there was mounting evidence that the virus had emerged from the Wuhan facility, possibly as a result of an unintentional release.

President Biden directed intelligence authorities to look into the virus’s origins in May, including the lab leak idea, which China dismisses.

Covid-19 has been confirmed in about 240 million people worldwide, with over 4.9 million deaths.